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Justin

Sparks

JustinSparksZoom

#19

Infield / Catcher
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195
Year: Redshirt Junior
Hometown: Hendersonville, N.C.
High School: Hendersonville HS

Bio

2018 (Redshirt Sophomore): Played in 57 of the team’s 58 games on the year with 50 starts including 27 at first base, 15 as the designated hitter, six at third base, and twice in left field … Batted .304 on the year with 59 hits in 194 at bats with eight extra base hits including six doubles, a triple, and a home run … Finished with 11 multiple hit games including a team-best two, four-hit games while also posting eight multi-RBI outings … Led the team with 17, two-out RBI … Recorded hits in the first five games of the season including a first three-hit outing against eventual OVC champion, Morehead State (Feb. 20) … Had a four-hit, four-RBI game against nationally-ranked Clemson (May 9) … Had a six-game hitting streak while reaching base safely a career-long 16-straight games … Was on the receiving end of 17 double plays in the field … Had a monster Southern Conference tournament, leading WCU with a .478 batting average including a team-best 11 hits with a double and a home run for a .678 slugging percentage … Posted three, multi-hit games and reached base in five of the six games played in the tournament en route to earning SoCon All-Tournament team honors … Hit his first home run of the season against top-seeded UNCG (May 23) to jump-start the Catamount offense in pulling the upset … Raised his seasonal batting average 50 points over the final month of the season.

2017 (Redshirt Freshman): Played in 29 games including 12 starts, earning the starting nod in the season-opener in tournament-play against St. John's (Feb. 17) ... Eight of his starts came behind the plate with four coming as the designated hitter ... Finished the year with a .269 batting average, collecting 14 base hits including three doubles and a home run ... Collected his first career base hit in the season-opener, doubling down the left field line in the fifth inning of tournament play against St. John's (Feb. 17) ... Tallied his first multi-hit game with a pair of singles against Kent State (March 17), finishing the three-game series 4-for-7 ... Broke open a scoreless game against The Citadel (April 1), delivering a pinch-hit, two-RBI double to the gap in left-center to ignite WCU to a 6-0 victory ... Hit his first collegiate home run in a 1-for-2, career-high three RBI performance against Savannah State (April 25); Summer League: Batted .333 over 40 games for the Lake Erie (Mich.) Monarchs in the Great Lakes League, helping guide the team to the North Division championship ... Finished second on the team with 49 hits including 13 doubles and a home run, driving in 32 runs.

2016 (Freshman): Traveled all season but did not see game action, taking a redshirt; Summer League: Played for the Piedmont Pride of the Southern Collegiate League ... Saw action in 24 games on the summer, posting a .316 batting average ... Turned in five multi-hit games including a three-hit showing on July 8 ... Finished with 18 hits including a double and a home run, recording eight RBI ... Drew seven walks..

Prior to Western Carolina: Was a three-time All-Western Highlands Conference selection, twice garnering the league's MVP honor in his final two seasons ... Posted a career .386 batting average with 34 career doubles, five triples and 22 home runs ... Amassed 114 career RBI and stole 13 bases ... Batted over .440 in each of his final three seasons as a prep, helping his squad to three-straight, 20-win seasons ... High school coach was Mark Cook.

Personal: Full name is Justin Michael Sparks ... Is the son of Mike and Wendi Sparks ... Has a younger brother, Matthew ... His father, Mike, played football at Ole Miss ... Traditionally draws a No. 2 and a cross in the dirt when he approaches the plate in memory of slain Buncombe County police officer - and family friend - Jeff Hewitt ... the No. 2 represents Hewitt's unit number.

Career Game Highs:

  • At Bats: 6, CANISIUS (2/24/18)
  • Hits: 4, twice (MR: vs. UNCG, 5/26/18)
  • Runs: 3, vs. UNCG (5/26/18)
  • Doubles: 1, nine times (MR: vs. ETSU, 5/25/18)
  • Home Runs: 1, twice (MR: vs. UNCG, 5/23/18)
  • RBI: 4, twice (MR: vs. ETSU, 5/25/18)
  • Walks: 2, twice (MR: at Eastern Kentucky, 5/15/18)
  • Hitting Streak: 6 games (4/13/18 - 4/21/18)
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